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Live AMA with Laura Gerritsen 13th Jun, from 17:00 CEST (UTC+02:00)

Thank you for your answer! :slight_smile:

That’s interesting! I don’t think that anyone has ever asked me about my believes when travelling through Europe. Funnily though, not long ago, a German sociologist asked me about it via a forum PM. :smiley:

Yes, I believe in Jesus and I’m active in my local parish. I think this is also part of my motivation to get involved into the Fairphone movement. :slight_smile:

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Hi Emma - yes for example in the DRC there are quite some areas where different armed groups are active, especially in the East but also in other parts of the DRC. I have not often felt really unsafe travelling there (although it can be) because we always connect with many local partners and always have a local guide. We do monitor the local situation carefully on a daily basis when travelling there as situations can change quickly!

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You are welcome! We’re continuing to improve and support the Fairphone two, and with that our material programs. Among others, cobalt is one of the other materials we will focus on in the coming years (you can also see our scoping study for more information https://www.fairphone.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/170131_Scoping_study_guide.pdf), and we’ll continue to build on the recent trip to on the one hand develop local initiatives and improvements and on the other develop a more transparent supply chain.

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From facebook:

Hi, I’ve just done some study of DRC and my lecturer has helped me with a few questions! I am still a little confused between coltan and cobalt. Is coltan in your phones? If so, where is it sourced? How can we be assured that the coltan miners are receiving a fair pay? How safe are the workers collecting the coltan? Is the company paying a fair price and their share of tax to the Congolese government? Thanks, and thank-you for the work you are doing and the word you are spreading!

Good questions! Coltan and Cobalt are two very different materials. Coltan (a combination of Columbite + Tantalum) is for example in little capacitors in the Fairphone - to store energy. Cobalt is used to manufacture battery cells for the Fairphone battery. Coltan or Tantalum in the DRC is mostly found in the eastern Kivu provinces, whereas Cobalt is predominantly in southern province Katanga. For tantalum and the Fairphone 2, we support conflict-free sourcing initiatives in the DRC, meaning we can assure it is not financing conflict and armed groups in the area. However when it comes to a fair pay, safe working conditions, etc., there is a lot to be improved and more work is to be done there. Therefore Fairphone is continuously engaged in discussions with industry players, our supply chain and organisations that work on the ground in the DRC, to steer improvements.

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Facebook question:

I would be interested to learn about the working conditions in the mines plz. Thanks for being so transparent about your activities. Much appreciated!

Hi! The conditions in mine sites differ greatly. In the very artisanal sites labour is done almost if not completely manually, with tunnels that are constructed without many safety measures, there is (almost) no protective equipment etc. So in short - the conditions are very dangerous. It does employ many people so it can be a large share of community income though. Other more developed mine sites, for example semi-industrial sites, are already a lot better as they have equipment, safer tunnels, higher production and better income for miners. On the other side are the large industrial sites, that are very large mines (really huge open pits sometimes) where (almost) everything is mechanised- digging is done with trucks for example, transport is in bulk and the processes need much fewer staff for their production.

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Hey all,

thanks for you questions. We will now retire for a well-deserved after-work coffee in the sun! :slight_smile:

If you did not have time for this AMA or were just in the process of typing when I was closing the topic, feel free to send your question to daniel@fairphone.com until Thursday, 15.06. at 5pm.

All the best from Amsterdam,
Daniel and Laura

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